Are you already able to write fluently in Spanish? Now take your texts to another level with these eight basic tips on editing and turn them into professional texts.
1.- Bold type. If the kind of text that you are writing allows bold type, it is a good way to emphasize a word, without abusing this typology. The bold type should always be used in titles, subtitles, bibliographic references and is usually avoided in the rest of the text because it breaks the uniformity of the text. However, in digital media, the use of bold is important because the Internet search engines give this typology a higher priority.
2.- Italics. Italics are another way to highlight some words in a text. Its use is obligatory when we write titles of works and foreign words not adapted to Spanish and scientific names. Italics are also applied in words with figurative or metaphorical meaning, for example: He was a finalist to become Papa.
3.- Quotation marks. It is one of the most confusing punctuation marks. The quotes are used to indicate literal quotes or thoughts of the characters in literary texts. And also, remember that the chapter of a work, the title of an article, a poem or any part dependent on a major publication, for example, the chapter of a series are always written inbetween quotation marks.
4.- Short sentences. Try to review your text when you have it complete and replace the longer or complex sentences with shorter sentences separated by stops. This will force you to write clear and simple sentences, more easily understandable by readers. It is recommended to write sentences of no more than thirty words.
5.- Paragraph. Each kind of text has its own formal rules. However, the length of the paragraphs is always necessary to be taken into account. You shouldn’t write long paragraphs, and you shouldn’t write very brief ones: the perfect lenght of a paragraph is usually five or six sentences. The paragraph has to develop an idea, usually introduced in the first sentence, also called thematic phrase. This idea should be developed in the paragraph in a brief, clear and precise way. In addition, the paragraphs must be arranged correctly, so that they relate to the ideas of the previous and subsequent paragraphs and they are not just a succession of topics that can not be linked.
6.- Punctuation marks. The punctuation marks make the comprehension of the text easier to readers and, due to this reason, they are a very useful tool to communicate your message. Use punctuation marks correctly such as stops, commas, semicolons, parentheses, ellipsis … and don’t forget the opening question and exclamation marks.
7.- Size and type of letter. The size and type of letter are two factors that also influence when reading a text. The most important thing is that the color, size and font allow the text to be readable. You must choose a typology that is appropriate to the purpose of your text, for example, a typology such as Times New Roman size twelve for formal or official texts. If, on the other hand, you are writing a blog, you must use the one that suits the best what you are communicating. In order to do this, you can mix several types, but never more than three in the same text, and you can also play with the sizes.
8.- Medium. This is another aspect that must be taken into account when writing a text. What medium is the text going to be read? It is not the same to write an article for the printed press, which will later reach the public on paper, than to publish an article on your personal blog, which will be read on screen. Make the most of all the possibilities offered by your medium and also include photographs, videos or small audio files that complement your text whenever it is possible, since it is an effective way to make reading enjoyable and interesting.
Raquel Díez González / Practica Español